Create a Winning Top 100 Entry

Maxwell House of Music Dealer of the Year winners

The entries for the Top 100 Dealer Awards are as unique as the companies that submit them. But the nominees and winning dealers tend to have some things in common: They know how to market themselves and create a clear, compelling entry.

Here are some tips to help you do the same:

1. Decide What You Do Best

What’s your retail business known for? What are you most passionate about? If you believe you’ve done something innovative, creative, profitable, progressive or just downright brilliant, you'll want to enter your store in that particular category. Other than investing a bit of time and effort, it doesn’t cost you to enter, but the prestige and marketing potential of being a Top 100 Dealer are limitless.

2. Enter More Than One Category

Improve your odds for success by entering several Top 100 categories. And be sure to look over the category’s criteria and questions. In the past, several terrific entries didn’t make the cut because they either didn’t fit into the entered category or didn’t provide the information requested. Remember: Your entry doesn’t have to be thousands of words. In fact, it’s better to keep it concise but impactful (see tip  No. 3).

3. Try to Be Clear and Concise

Along those lines, the judges read hundreds of entries, so you'll want to make yours stand out. Write too little and you’re probably not providing enough information. Write too much and you’re diluting the message. So what's the most effective approach? Think about creating a brochure or flier for your store — make it clear, concise and reader friendly. Breaking up your submission into short, bulleted paragraphs (instead of filling an entire page with non-stop text) makes it a more compelling read.

4. Give Them the Big Picture

To help the judges get a better understanding of who you are and what you’ve done, start by providing them with a little context about your company and its background.

5. Outline Your Goals, Strategy, Execution and Results

Breaking up your submission into these four bulleted topics makes it easier for both you and the judges. It helps you stay on track in outlining what you’ve achieved and helps the judges put everything in context.

6. Be Specific About Your Results

Judges want to know how and why an idea was successful, and how it improved your business in a measurable, tangible way. Be as specific as you can be, remembering that details matter, and numbers matter even more. The judges are sworn to confidentiality, so the more numbers, facts and objective proof you can provide, the more likely it will be that you grab their attention.

7. Don’t Just Tell Us … Show Us!

Nothing illustrates your story better than great images. If your store is selected as a category nominee, we will create a video telling your story — and the last thing you want is blurry, low-res images representing your brand. Take the time to make sure you have clear, colorful images that are eye-catching. Remember: There’s a lot of competition out there.

8. Get Your Staff Involved

Brainstorm with your staff about what categories to enter and what best practices to share. By involving your employees, they become more invested in your store’s success.

9. Utilize Your Company’s Talent Pool to Create Your Winning Entry

If you’re not a natural writer or photographer, consider your team’s skills set. Do you have a creative marketer who can write your entry? Do you have a good photographer who can capture the images you need?

10. There’s Still Time to Achieve Your Top 100 Goals if You Start Now

Want to take your business to the next level? Why not take the tips you learned from this year’s NAMM U sessions and incorporate them into your business?

Bottom line: You’ll never win if you don’t enter! Be sure to enter your store now!